Samurai Shodown VI artwork by Takkun
|Full name||Zankuro Minazuki|
|Birthdate||September 6, 1743|
|Birthplace||Kyoto, Yamashiro Province, Japan|
|Height||252 cm (7' 11")|
|Weight||148 kg (326 lbs)|
|Family/Relatives||Misuzu (wife, deceased), Kakunoshin (son, deceased?), Shiori (daughter)|
|Likes||A duel that goes to the extremes|
|Dislikes||His weak spirit|
|Hobbies||Dueling against powerful swordsmen|
|Most unpleasant||Being unable to conquer the "demon" and becoming one himself|
|Weapon||The Crimson Blade of Hell's Rage (紅鋼怨獄丸, Kougon Onkokumaru), a zanbatō|
|Fighting style||Art of the Infinitely Peerless Blade (無限一刀流, Mugen Ittō-ryu)|
Zankuro Minazuki (壬無月 斬紅郎, Minazuki Zankurō) is the final boss from Samurai Shodown III. He continues to appear as a boss character throughout the series.
According to Gamest Mook, he was one of the potential candidates for the Samurai Shodown 64 lineup but was taken out due to time and modeling constraints.
He is a fearsome warrior who once traveled from village to village slaughtering people with no regard or disambiguation. During this time, he earns the title "the demon" in testament to his terrifying skill and battle prowess. He encounters a young girl who he couldn't bring himself to kill and realizes the error of his ways. He retires his massacring and enters hermitage, only drawing his blade to kill worthy opponents in duels. The survivor, a woman named Shiori, was actually Zankuro's daughter, forgotten by him due to her father's killing intent. She meets the wandering Haohmaru and asks him to kill the "demon".
Eventually, he is defeated by Shizumaru and Haohmaru and his body is buried and sealed later by Gaira Caffeine. His appearances after Samurai Shodown III continue to revive him as an un-lockable boss for the players to defeat.
In Samurai Shodown VI, his ending has Shizumaru bring Shiori to him with Haohmaru encouraging the estranged family to reconcile. Feeling himself beyond redemption, he refuses until Shizumaru convinces him not to submit to his inner demon. Realizing the value of life, Zankuro decides to live on for his daughter. He abandons the way of the sword and the two embark on a journey where he hopes to repent for his sins.
Zankuro was once a kind man who lived happily with his family. He eventually went blind with blood lust and started to slay others to compensate, unintentionally killing his wife in the process. When he regains his senses, he is a stern and honorable warrior. He is ashamed of his actions and willing to accept any punishment that will suffice for his crimes. His repeated deaths forged him to be a death bringer to the living, only creating enough havok so a strong warrior will stop him.
- Energy Projectile - Zankuro can fire a projectile of energy from his sword.
- Energy Attacks - Zankuro can fuel his sword with ki energy.
- Sense: Zankuro can sense the presence of people nearby
Unlike Amakusa and Mizuki, Zankuro doesn't rely on sorcery or the dark powers of Ambrosia, being the first boss character to do so in the series. He wields a zanbatō which he uses to attack with amazing speed and strength. In his first boss appearance, he could easily defeat his foe in three strikes. In Samurai Shodown IV, his strongest slash can take away half a lifebar. His strikes and grabs have a high priority, often overriding other characters in both range, strength, and counter percentage. He also has the ability to counter incoming attacks with powerful accuracy, an ability that his AI often abused in his first appearance more so than others. His main weakness lies in his recovery speed -though this is less noticeable in the third game- as wise players can evade or circle around his attacks to their advantage.
- Demon's Challenge - Samurai Shodown III
- Saigo no Yaiba (Final Edge) - Samurai Shodown III
- Mugen (Infinity) - Samurai Shodown III
- Tranquility to Movement - Samurai Shodown IV
- Hiroyuki Arita - Samurai Shodown III
- Enma Itō - Samurai Shodown IV
- Kazuhiro Nakata - Samurai Shodown V Special
- Akio Ohtsuka - Samurai Shodown VI
- Samurai Shodown III - final boss
- Samurai Shodown IV - final boss
- Samurai Shodown!
- Samurai Shodown V Special - possible boss
- Samurai Shodown VI
- Samurai Spirits ~Kengou Hachiban Shoubu~
- Kingdom Story
- Samurai Shodown 64 - passing mention in Genjuro's ending
- Shinsetsu Samurai Spirits: Bushidou Retsuden (Neo-Geo CD version only)
- Nakoruru: Ano Hito kara no Okurimono - passing mention